Wednesday, November 11, 2015

#CommonCore in TESOL Quarterly September 2014 - IV

Palinscar and Schleppergrell (2014) [NB ref in abstract to Eggins (2004) to Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL) per Halliday. I really need to get to grips with this - could also be useful in any CDA work I do. Library has Eggins (1994).] 

This research is based on two theoretical frameworks, SFL and the emergentist view, Ellis & Larsen-Freeman (2006).  Essentially, teaching and learning is "interaction and feedback in meaningful contexts, supported by explicit attention to language itself".

A third layer of theory, sociolinguistic, is introduced to define "scaffolding" (which I've seized on because that word is being used a lot in connexion with Common Core) as being a supportive environment where teacher and learners share negotiated meaning. 

Metalanguage (p618) is a resource to aid the process of getting meaning from text. This refers back to the point made in the abstract about learners who may be at the right K-12 grade in terms of vocabulary, but have "syntactic awareness" difficulties, [NB can't find a copy of Lesaux & Geve 2006]

As an example, Palinscar & Schleppergrell use likelihood in science writing, in particular the use of modality. Metalanguage is shared with teachers, but ELs get language itself (p620). Instruction is given regarding a likelihood scale, and this is what is meant by "careful scaffolding", (p621). ELs can then be introduced to meaningful texts and discuss the likelihood of situations referred to in the texts. 

Subjectively, I was concerned that this article was overly theoretical. But the illustration suggests to me a lesson that would actually work. One could do this in 45mins, and return to and reinforce it in subsequent lessons. Hmm...


Eggins, S. (1994). An introduction to systemic functional grammar. An introduction to systemic functional grammar.

Eggins, S. (2004). Introduction to systemic functional linguistics. A&C Black.

Ellis, N., & Larsen-Freeman, D. (2006). Language Emergence: Implications for Applied Linguistics--Introduction to the Special Issue. Applied Linguistics, 27(4), 558-589.

Halliday, M. A. K. (2003). On language and linguistics (Vol. 3). A&C Black

Lesaux, N. K., & Geva, E. (2006). Synthesis: Development of Literacy in Language-Minority Students.

Palincsar, A., & Schleppegrell, M. (2014). Focusing on Language and Meaning While Learning With Text. TESOL Q, 48(3), 616-623.